Dabbling with Flash/ActionScript

For a couple of years now I have the outlines of a webgame design lying around. Working title "Operation Survival - humanities last stand". It's supposed to be a persistent multiplayer online game involving tactical fighting to defend the earth from alien invasion. It's a bit more involved, but I won't go into that right now. Anyways, I have been playing with various implementation ideas and wanted to show you one that ultimately got discarded. The idea was to have an animated battle in space with two motherships facing each other and launching fighters/rockets/lasers at each other. Controls are indirect, with the player specifying target types (mothership or enemy fighters) and the AI duelling it out. Fighters have flocking behaviour to fly in formation. The game design calls for something more "down to earth" so to speak, so while this prototype might eventually have become fun it's not suited for this particular game vision. If you wanna play with it go here. Launch some fighters by clicking on the round brown mothership targetting icons in the lower left (the energy bars were meant as an auto retreat threshold - once a fighter's energy drops below that value it tries to escape back to the mothership). The white fighter type will follow your mousecursor around to test the flocking algorithm.

"And I think to myself... What a wonderful world..."

A collegue just twittered this.


Star Trek...

...not my cup of tea. Never was, never will be. The latest cinematic installement proved again that good special effects alone don't make a good movie. It does feature nice to watch yet uninspired CGI (why does no one ever really play with zero gravity effects? Momentum in space? True three dimensional battle maneuvers? Distance and emptiness in space? anyway, different rant...), but the story, oh the story... It's so full of holes, unbearable gung ho macho dialogue and cheap chicken out plot devices like time travel and random technology gadgets it's almost insulting. In my eyes a movie like StarShip Troopers is far more enjoyable: it features special effects on par, matches the macho dialogue with wits and most importantly doesn't take itself so damn seriously while managing to make a satiric statement at the same time. Or what the heck, watch Dark Star instead. I mean, what can be cooler than surfing into a sun?!

Zugspitze Hike

We went hiking on the Zugspitze 2 weeks ago. Richy put some fotos online here: http://picasaweb.google.com/Greadle/20090501Alpen?authkey=Gv1sRgCOm17tzJ-ITSYA# We went through the Höllentalschlucht which was still officially closed due to large amounts of snow and ice and bridges still being taken out for the winter.